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ELLIE BOAKES

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At the age of 22 I underwent surgery in August 2016 to hopefully stop the epilepsy that had plagued me most of my life.  Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and I suffered a stroke, this was due to a blood vessel being clamped and cutting off the blood supply.

I lost the use of my complete left side and was in hospital for three months. Being such an outgoing person who loved swimming, socialising and even enjoyed going to work! it was quite a shock to the system having to rely on other people constantly. Luckily a family friend knew about a company run by Dr Tom Balchin called ARNI institute for stroke survivors who provided specialist rehabilitation and exercise support after hospital and community physiotherapy finishes.  I was so eager to meet Tom and his team and have a day’s session. While I was still in hospital, I booked a session as soon as I could as I wanted to get back to being me.

img_4521On the 13th December 2016, the day finally arrived! I was going to spend the day working on my left side with Tom. I can honestly say it was such an overwhelming and amazing day, one of the best days of my life!!!  Tom helped me achieve movements I never thought I would see again for years! For example, picking and releasing with my left hand.  He also taught me techniques to manage everyday life such as sitting position to standing position, steps to side to get out of danger and lots more.  I was so inspired by the day that I went home and immediately purchased Tom’s full set of DVD’s called ‘The Successful Stroke Survivor’, which I would say is brilliant!

As fellow stroke survivors will know it can be quite a daunting, stressful and lonely path to recovery. I feel my family and friends are my important support network to keep me calm, centered and motivated, even at times when I have felt scared and vulnerable.  It is nice that I can now include the larger Arnie Institute Group as part of my personal development team.

I found the day fun, motivational and very enjoyable and would thoroughly recommend anyone who is recovering from a stroke to attend this 1-1 with Tom and his team can’t wait to start with an Arnie instructor.

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